Today is National Cheesecake Day, so I made no-bake strawberry cheesecake yesterday and to be enjoyed today. A No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake that is made with quark instead of cream cheese. Less caloric, less fat, less heavy and very delicious.
I have always wondered who invents these national days, and assumed it was the manufacturer or the retail industry, but most of these food holiday are just made up by a food writer from Alabama with this website Foodimentary. It is amazing how often these National Food Days are used by retailers (we do it as well) and anybody else for that matter. It goes to show how powerful words can be, and all this information is available online, repeated over and over again, that some may believe it is actually true and based on something. Hmm
How often do you catch yourself reading something that appears to be legit, but in the end it is just nonsense? Haha, I do every now and then – don’t like to admit it, but I do read stories that are a little too good to be true and after just a little research I laugh at myself for believing it, even for a moment.
Back to National Cheesecake Day. Believe it, it’s here. This No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake is made with quark, instead of cream cheese; cream cheese has about 4x the amount of calories of quark and about 5 times the amount of fat. This is not the main reason I like quark, it is more that I prefer the quark over the cream cheese because it gives the cheesecake a ‘cleaner’ flavor, it is more of a refreshing sensation and does not stay with you for as long as a high fat flavor can do. Quark is a form of cheese, and is similar to yogurt in appearance and in texture, and flavor-wise it is a yogurt flavor, but less acidic. In Northern Europe we love quark (in Holland we would write kwark) and when I think about a cheesecake, a quark or kwark cake comes to mind.
I made the cracker crust thin, as the attention should be on the quark, not the crust. The top layer is added to improve the looks of the cheesecake and to add a hint of sweetness. The preserve is slightly thinned with water; this way it is easier to spread and may even run slowly down the sides. It will thicken in the fridge though and becomes nice and shiny. I used Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserve because I love that combination and it gives just a little more richness to the entire cheesecake.
No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
- 10 graham crackers
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups quark 8 oz. each
- 1 pound strawberries
- 3 envelopes gelatin powder
- 6 tablespoons strawberry jam or any other preserve
- 1 strawberry
- Cut a circle of parchment paper, the size of a 9-inch springform pan and cover the bottom of the springform pan.
- Grind the graham crackers into a food processor into fine crumbs, or place the crackers in a plastic bag and use your rolling pin and roll until you have the fine crumbs.
- Add crumbs to a bowl, and mix with the melted butter and sugar.
- Press the buttery crumbs on the parchment paper in the springform pan and flatten it with the back of a spoon, creating a fairly even thin crust for the cheesecake.
- Place the pan in the fridge, so the cookie crust can harden.
- Wash and hull the strawberries and cut into pieces (except for one that is needed for decoration).
- Place the strawberries pieces in a blender and puree them.
- Sprinkle the gelatin powder in a little bit of water and allow to set for 1-2 minutes.
- Heat part of the strawberry puree and add the gelatin, whisking until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool down
- Scoop the quark into a bowl. Whip the whipping cream with the sugar until stiff peaks.
- Fold whipped cream into the quark and add strawberry puree and form a homogeneous mixture.
- Pour quark-strawberry mix into the springform pan and place into refrigerator to set.
- For best result, cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Can already be served after 4-6 hours.
- Carefully slide a knife around the perimeter of the cheesecake and loosen the springform ring.
- Warm strawberry jam with 1 tablespoon on water on low heat, so it becomes more liquid. Poor over cheesecake and spread out.
- Cut strawberry in 4 pieces and place in center of cheesecake.
- Place the cheesecake back in the refrigerator and cool for another hour to set the jam.